Memorable Motorcycles Honda TL125 — Motorcycle USA

21 Янв 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Memorable Motorcycles Honda TL125 — Motorcycle USA отключены
Honda TL 125 Ihatovo

Memorable Motorcycles Honda

The Honda TL125 had a solid, design, close gearing on the low end for trials riding, and was affordably but its rejection by the American market its ultimate demise.

I must to a degree of racial bias in this article. I like the as a nation. I like their their focused energy and

I also admire how they dug out of the post World War II pit of despair becoming an economic superpower.

there are flaws in the Japanese and one of these is the committee. Team is a key Japanese trait even now and 30 years ago it was absolutely sacrosanct. The trait which is critical to the psyche is the objective evaluation of

The Italians might build a because the designer wants to passionate love to it, and the British there is a niche to be filled, but the will usually, but not absolutely have a thoroughly sound for producing a motorcycle.

So, let’s go to the early 1970s. In terms of sales, America was the Yukon Rush all over again. fortunes were being as everyone wanted a dirtbike. It is universality which is important to today. Watch a current rider launch himself 30 in the air and many of us will think even if we could ride that, we wouldn’t want to.

By contrast, 33 years ago everyone aspire to riding a dirtbike, it was in motocross, desert racing or playing about on the trails.

The 2nd, and 3rd gears of the five-

transmission were very low and

for off-road work, but overall the

engine lacked enough

Just as important was that a proportion of road riders had Machines like Suzuki’s were extremely cheap, and could be ridden on the road and in surprisingly challenging off-road

The one part of the jigsaw puzzle was missing from the burgeoning market was trials. Again, needs to be a historical note If you see a film of current trials the spectacle is awe-inspiring.

But blasting up 100-feet high cliffs and on the top of precipices tends not to have appeal.

By contrast, trials riding at the of the 1970s was a vastly different Challenging obstacles were a few in a river bed or a 10-foot climb up a bank. In short, everyone ride trials from the kid to the white-haired granny — and

Another factor was the environmental caused by off-road sport. in the early 1970s, there was the of environmental challenges on the grounds of and land erosion — in terms of desert racing and scrambles. Trials had no such

Five acres was ample for an amateur trial, the noise was almost zero and land was minimal.

So back to Tokyo and The committee convenes. Trials every box in terms of a product universal appeal for the U.S. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of must want to ride recreationally, and what they is a light, easy to handle, reliable trials bike can be maintained with hosepipe and In fact, what they is the Honda TL125.

And so Honda made it.

Honda’s into the trials foray the hubs and forks that already in use in the Honda SL125.

As an response to a marketing request, the Honda was perfect. Not nearly or almost a solution, but absolutely in the middle of the target: a perfect Honda’s new trials baby was on solid, proven technology in this case the well Honda SL125. The engine was SL125 but had heavier flywheels to plonking power.

The little OHC started instantly hot or cold, was …-proof reliable and did not have an molecule in its tiny, two-valve head. The hubs and forks SL too, and the rims were parts. So, in all, the bottom-line looked very attractive for accountants.

What was unique to the was all good. The fuel tank was a slim-line special which had the advantage of one of the nicest paintjobs seen on an off-road bike. The were in the correct, rear-set the saddle trials-sized and the wheelbase a 50 inches to allow for threading the trees.

The TL was also surprisingly adaptable. The three gears were giving useable ratios in going, and then there a further two cogs to allow a cruising speed on dirt or roads. TLs were also road legal and in Europe equipped with a comprehensive kit as good as any road bike.

Honda TL 125 Ihatovo

A carrier could be fitted to the bike even more

Finally, the price was right. At the the top bike in the trials scene was the Bultaco and this was a whopping compared with the Honda’s affordable price of $700.

footrests in the rear-set position, a saddle and a tight 50-inchwheelbase, the TL125 had many traits of a trials performer.

So the design was the execution impeccable and the bike drop-… gorgeous, too. But was it like to ride?

Again, was absolutely spot on the mark. The TL be started almost by looking at the it was so user friendly. It was surprisingly as a beginner’s trials bike too although much more at as a dirt play-bike.

The bike’s problem was two-fold: was a lack of out and out power; 9 bhp was not a lot to play And, second, where power occurred; 9,000 rpm was not trials territory, especially in going which demanded low and pulling power.

But neither of traits was the real problem for the TL. The issue which was to prove is that Americans did not like


This was quite unfair on since all the market research that trials, and the TL125, have been the ultimate marketing masterpiece for the USA. the difficult Americans hadn’t Honda’s report and voted no in hundreds of thousands. No amount of could convince American that the TL was anything other a bike to be avoided at all costs.

persevered with the idea of trials to the Americans, sponsoring fine American trials but all to no avail. Trials never on. Finally, the little TL came to the of its short three-year life in

The Honda TL125 was sticker at $700 in the early ’70s, but today can expect to pay around to add this vintage Honda to collection.

It did better in Europe, big-bore conversions aiding and power, but in truth it was never amongst serious trials

Now, a standard, mint TL125 is worth serious Expect to pay $3,000 for the best and $1,200 for a hacked about but example. The reason is that the TL is just as pretty, just as and just as thoroughly nice a as when it was conceived at that planning meeting in 1972.

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Honda TL 125 Ihatovo
Honda TL 125 Ihatovo

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